Kevin Quain is a musician, songwriter, playwright and bar fly. Between local weekly "house gigs", out of town dates and festivals, he performs well over 200 shows a year. He's best known as leader of the "garage jazz cabaret noir" ensemble Mad Bastards. Their Sunday night residency, and Quain's two independently released CDs have won a cult following that spans from Los Angeles to Yellowknife to Tokyo, bringing international musicians and movie stars to Toronto's venerable Cameron House to witness the mayhem firsthand.

He is also the resident accordionista for several bands including itinerant Tex-mex combo Rancho Misterio, country & western quintet The Cameron Family Singers and the gospel ensemble The Hellrazers. He plays guitar and accordion in folk singer Michelle Rumball's band. He can occasionally be seen as a guest bass player for beloved country stringband The Backstabbers, and he hosts The Mad Bastard Cabaret, a weekly open stage event in Kensington Market.


Quain has performed as a guest vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist on dozens of CDs including: jazz chanteuse Jennifer Ryan's 1997 CD "How Do You Feel About That?", Suzanne de Bussac's 1999 release "The Valley of Baca", Keith Adams CD "Goin' on a Trip", J. Englishman's Warner debut "Poor L'il Rockstar", beatnik poet Ralph Alfonso's "This is for the Night People", Michelle Rumball's 2001 recording "Terrain", Neil Leyton's "Midnight Sun", and Backstabber Col. Tom Parker's new children's album.

He is also active in composing and performing music for theatre and dance. He wrote and performed music on bass, accordion and harmonica for acclaimed dancer / choreographer Learie McNicolls award-winning work "Armour", at Toronto's Theatre Centre. Quain and McNicolls traveled to London, England in October 2000 to perform the show. He composed and performed music and sound effects for Gil Garrett's "Severe Blow to the Head". He also created and performed a live score for Phyzikal Theatre's production of Philip Shepherd's play "Archer", and for Theatre Voce's production of Ferdinand Bruckner's "Pains of Youth" at Canadian Stage.

His first CD "Hangover Honeymoon" was selected by the National Post as of the Top 133 Canadian albums of all time. His second CD "Tequila Vampire Matinee" was released in 2000. Development of a musical based in the album began soon after.

 

In 2003 Quain spent some time touring with celtic rockers The Mahones, traveled to Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia to perform at Mediawave 2003, an international jazz and film festival. He also wrote and recorded soundtracks for two low-budget indie films, and wrote and performed a live soundtrack for the Greta Garbo's silent classic "The Mysterious Lady" at the Jackson-Triggs estate Winery in Niagara.

In summer of 2003 he was part of Theatre Passe Muraille's first season at the historic Regent Theatre in Picton, performing in three plays: Hank Williams: Return to Innocence, The County Show and his own Tequila Vampire Matinee, an irreverent re-telling of the opera Pagliacci, which opened in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille in November 2003 with Ted Dykstra directing. The show received six Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations in the General Theatre category. Kevin received the award for Outstanding New Musical.

In 2004 Quain has made two appearances on "The Toronto Show", continues to perform weekly gigs at The Cameron House, The Rex Hotel and Graffiti's, and is working on several new recording projects. In April he appeared on the debut episode of "The Undiscovered Country" on CMT and performed at Carnival Diablo's 12th Anniversary show.

(C) 2004 Kevin Quain. All rights reserved. Contact Kevin Quain at: kevin_quain@hotmail.com.